LOUISVILLE. Component supplier Eaton Corp. announced at the 2014 Mid America Trucking Show that two of its “optimized” transmission packages are now going to be offered as options on select Volvo, Kenworth, and Peterbilt truck models.

“Partnering with North American truck manufacturers to deliver integrated powertrain solutions is a key part of Eaton’s strategy,” noted Tim Sinden, Eaton’s president of North American truck operations, during a press conference.

He noted that Volvo Trucks will begin offering the “SmartAdvantage” powertrain developed in partnership with Cummins for all VNL Series models for both linehaul and regional haul applications. That “package” consists of a Cummins SmartTorque 2 equipped ISX 15 engine with a Fuller Advantage Series automated manual transmission (AMT) to help boost fuel economy between 3% and 6%.

Sinden added that Eaton is also going to offer what he called an “optimized version” of its Fuller Advantage Series 10-speed AMT on select Kenworth and Peterbilt when equipped with the MX-13 – the propriety engine built by Paccar, the parent company of both Kenworth and Peterbilt – again focusing on linehaul and regional haul applications. This powertrain package is expected to deliver a 2% gain in fuel economy, Sinden noted.

John Coll, VP-global marketing for Eaton, added that the company expects the take rate of AMTs in the Class 8 market to jump from 20% today to 30% over the next three to five years. He also forecast a Class 8 market of 265,000 units for 2014, though Eaton is “keeping an eye” on March order rates as the numbers have trended upwards from December 2013 through January and February this year.